Pacific Internet - Ukiah, California

Email FAQ

Email FAQ

What are the incoming and outgoing email settings?

See our Email Setup & Configuration page for email settings and guides for various email programs.

What are the password requirements?

Passwords need to be at least 8 characters long, ideally with letters, numbers, and symbols. Spaces are OK too, so it might help to think of this as a passphrase instead of a password.

How can I update my password?

You will need to call us. Unfortunately, we do not have an automated way to change passwords, although we plan on having one someday.

I have a question about the spam filter.

You and I both. We use a third-party spam filtering service called CanIt, from Roaring Penguin Software. This is a large enough topic for its own page, so head over to the CanIt FAQ for more information.

I'm missing mail! Where did it go?

The first place to look for intermittently missing mail is the spam filter. Log in using your email address and password. For information on making your way around the filter, see the CanIt FAQ. This is a likely place to find your mail if a random message from a conversation failed to arrive at your inbox.

If you are not receiving any mail at all, contact us for assistance.

My mailbox is full or I keep getting quota warning messages.

You need to make room on the server. There are several ways to do this, and the most effective strategy depends on your needs. To decide which solution best fits your needs, consider the following questions:

  • Do you use IMAP or POP3?
  • Do you use multiple devices?
  • Do you even care about keeping the mail?

If the answer to the last question is, "No", you can get away with just deleting all your mail, or enough of it to make room. While that sounds easy, it depends on the IMAP vs. POP3 question as well, so see the question about deleting messages for details.

If you care about keeping your mail, you still need to answer the IMAP vs. POP3 question.

If you're set up as POP3, and getting quota warnings, you have probably configured your mail program to never remove messages from the server. Changing your settings to remove messages from the server after they've been retrieved will usually do the trick. Most mail programs provide the option to only remove messages after they have been left on the server for a given time (e.g., one week, one month), which can be quite useful.

If you're set up as IMAP, the only realistic solution is an archiving strategy. You will need to designate a primary device where you want to store messages you've pulled off the server and periodically archive your mail from that device. Archiving features vary with mail programs, but most will allow you to move messages from folders on the server to local folders on your machine in some way.

We have an example of archiving mail using Thunderbird to illustrate the archiving process.

How do I delete messages from the server?

Deleting mail from the server can be more complicated than it sounds. As with all things mail, you must first answer the fundamental question: is your account set up as IMAP or POP3? If your account is set up to use POP3, you can't directly remove messages from the server, though there are indirect ways, such as changing the setting that determines whether the mail program removes messages from the server after it retrieves a copy (only effective if it wasn't configured to do so before). If you have an IMAP account, "deleting" a message often moves it to the Trash folder (though this may be configurable), and the Trash folder is a folder just like any other, and takes up space on the server (i.e., it counts against your quota). To fully remove a message from the server, you generally need to delete the items in the Trash to finish the job.

We have an example of deleting messages through webmail if you need help.

Don't you offer additional space?

Yes, but more space ultimately won't solve your problem. At some point, you won't want to continue paying us more and more for additional space. Sometimes, however, a little more space is just what you need, so if you'd like to increase your quota, contact us.

We charge $5 a month, $15 a quarter, or $50 a year for each additional gigabyte (GB). All pacific.net email accounts start with a base quota of 1 GB. For the record, Pacific Internet counts their bytes in base 2, just like our computers, so there are 1,073,741,824 (230) bytes per Gig, not a short-changed 1,000,000,000 (109).

I'm going to be travelling abroad. Can I use my email internationally?

Of course. We don't discriminate against other countries. The Internet is an international community by design.

You should make sure your devices are configured to use TLS/SSL to establish a secure connection when sending and receiving mail. If they're not, your username and password stand a higher chance of being snagged while travelling; if someone steals them and we catch the account spamming, we will disable it until you contact us to update your password. Naturally, you should enable security no matter where you are. In the future, we will require it.

What's the difference between POP3 and IMAP?

IMAP stands for Internet Message Access Protocol. IMAP accounts leave messages stored on the mail server. They access and manage email directly on the server. If you create a folder or move messages between folders, that happens on the server itself. IMAP is the best choice if you need to check your email from multiple devices. This is because the server is always in a consistent state—any changes you make using one device are visible to any other device because all devices are looking at and operating on the same place (the server). Webmail uses IMAP as its underlying protocol. Since everything is stored on the server, your usage habits are very important in managing your mail. If you find yourself regularly running out of space, consider using POP3 instead, or look into archiving strategies.

POP3 stands for Post Office Protocol, Version 3. POP3 accounts download messages locally. Local refers to your machine—the computer or device you are using when you check your mail. Local is used in this context as opposed to remote, which refers to the mail server you connect to and download your messages from. The fundamental difference between POP3 and IMAP is one operates locally (POP3, on your machine) and the other operates remotely (IMAP, on the server). Email account quotas are often less of a concern for POP3 accounts, since they download and store copies locally. You must beware, however! A POP3 client may or may not leave a copy of the message on the server, depending on how you choose to configure it. Typically, you can choose to not leave any copies on the server, leave copies for a pre–defined number of days and remove them when they get so old, or to never remove copies from the server. Leaving copies for a short time on the server is often the best solution, as it is a cheap way of keeping short–term, emergency backups. POP3 is generally not the best choice if you use multiple devices, because when a POP3 client downloads and optionally removes mail from the server, the next device to check the server won't be able to find anything that was removed.

There is no one–size–fits–all solution to managing mail, and with the proper configuration, either IMAP or POP3 can be used equally satisfactorily. It's even possible to make the two coexist peacefully, but you have to know what you're doing and that applies to very specific use–cases. Hopefully this FAQ has provided you with enough knowledge to make an informed decision. Pacific Internet supports both POP3 and IMAP, and it is possible to change from one to the other (with a few consequences) should you ever need to.

What's the deal with "aliases"?

An alias is an email address that gets forwarded somewhere else. For example, you might have two email addresses, personal@pacific.net and business@pacific.net. If you make business an alias to personal, you only need to check a single mailbox, in this case personal. See our question on managing identities for information on how to make this work smoothly and effectively

What is the difference between an alias and a mailbox?

An alias is different from a mailbox in several ways. An alias is not an end–point; the message will continue being processed until it finds its way to a mailbox. Also, aliases generally don't have credentials associated with them. Since there is no mailbox to check, there is nothing to log in to.

A mailbox will have a username and password associated with it. The username and password do not need to match the email addresses for messages placed in the mailbox, since multiple addresses can be aliased to a single mailbox. This allows managing multiple identities from a single account.

How can I use/manage multiple email address from a single account?

Using the example above, you would use filtering rules in your mail client to automatically place personal messages in one folder and business messages in another. You would then create separate identities so the correct address is displayed when sending and replying to messages. The way you set up identities depends on your choice of mail client.